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Explore this week.

It’s the end of the month and my oh my, someone’s just been paid… Look at you go! But what now? After rent and that three-week supply of 2-minute noodles and siracha sauce has been secured, you’ll be looking to indulge in self-love. A little bit of retail therapy – dare I suggest? Hell yes. Cape Town is a hub of so much; culture, food, music, people, art, and of course fashion. If the mainstream clothing stores aren’t up to your standards of quality, style and price there is truly no reason to feel alone, you aren’t the only one. What you’re looking for is thrifting. Sometimes you just need to branch out and strut your stuff with some super fly, second-hand gear. 


While fast fashion is said by the UN Environment Programme to produce up to 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, we shouldn’t only turn to thrifting as merely a trend but rather a cure. This is a beginner’s guide to just a few of the most epic thrifting spots in Cape Town for you to dip your feet in. Enjoy the cool pool of the city’s vintage, second-hand, and charity shop thrifting – it’s truly a breath of fresh air from any and all commercial hype. 

1. ‘The Fashion Play Ground’


Located on the lower main road in Observatory. This shop’s name speaks for itself when it comes to its stock. Everything has a story, character, and just the right amount of the worn-in aesthetic too. The store’s collection of odds and ends you never knew you needed but most certainly do is unmatched. I have purchased many a pair of sunglasses, the type you can’t believe you’ve finally found when you do. The jewelry section of Nevernew is outstanding, and its prices are very reasonable. With something for everybody, you will certainly walk out with a very big smile on your face.

2. ‘The Timeless Treat’

Vintage And The City

Vintage And The City is an epic spot along Albert Road in Woodstock. If you’re looking for a statement piece this place is your destination. With its focus on the ’80s, ’90s, and ‘00s you can be sure to spot the most amazing quality pieces, anywhere from a massive puffer coat and street-style baggy jeans to that Y2K mini skirt, you’ve been daydreaming about. Feeling unmotivated to leave home and mission into the hustle and bustle of Woodstock? No problem. Vintage and The City have an online shop just waiting for you to take a look at. The website hosts pictures, prices, and professional quality photographs of each item to help you make a fashionably informed decision.

3. ‘The Fashion and Food Lover’s Paradise’

Neighbourgoods Market

Open every Saturday and Sunday, it s located in the well-known, and much-loved Old Biscuit Mill. This market not only has a booming food section, live music, and stands of Mzansi’s best up-and-coming brands but here you can also find some fantastic vintage clothes, jewelry, accessories, and if you’re lucky even the odd film camera may pop up. With traders like You Butterfly Me Vintage, Assablief Vintage, Flux Luxury, and many more. You are sure to have your day booked out to “ooh” and “ahh” over the spectacular options on offer. 

4. ‘The Life Changers’


A charity shop with branches in Fish Hoek, Kommetjie, and Retreat. TEARS or The Emma Animal Rescue Society is an organisation aimed at rescuing and rehabilitating animals in South Africa and each of its charity shops helps to generate the money to fund this cause. With anything from clothing, shoes, and jewelry to kitchenware, furniture, and crockery there is an endless supply of thrifting possibilities. This is a great organisation that can be brought into the conversation in regards to how preloved clothing can not only find other purpose but also help our communities. Providing rescue to animals and jobs to our people, TEARS is a shining example of what we should be doing more of in South Africa.

5. ‘Let The Hunt, Begin’

Hidden Treasure

Found in Muizenburg and Simonstown, Hidden Treasure is a charity shop that funds various chosen groups affiliated with the Baptist Womens Department of Southern Africa. The funds generated at their branches are used to fuel all the different programs they run. As a Christian organisation, a big part of its mission is to spread the values of Christianity, especially through the distribution of funds, allowing them to be active in sponsoring other programs too. Hidden Treasure is one of those shops where just about anything can be found, hence the name. I myself have found everything from a top-quality pasta machine and insanely stylish clothes to my personal favourite, a fully working Canon AV-1 film camera.

6. ‘Vintage Galore’

St. Luke's Hospice

Now when it comes to charity shopping, St Luke’s Hospice never misses the mark. There is a great charity shop and a book shop in Fish Hoek. This hospice has much to be commended for, with an incredible mission of providing palliative care to people with life-limiting illnesses, in the form of in-home care and nursing as well as providing psychosocial and bereavement care to the families of those that are ill. The second-hand and book shops run by St. Luke’s Hospice are integral to their mission and make their work possible. With that being said TEARS, Hidden Treasure, St. Luke’s Hospice, and all charity shops are all reliant on donations from the public. Bric-a-brac, games, toys, books, clothing, jewelry, kitchenware, furniture, and electronics too. Not only can you do your part by buying from these shops but you can certainly help by donating too.

7. ‘It’s Groovy Babyyy’

Grand Funk Retro Vintage

Grand Funk Retro Vintage will have your inner “That 70’s Show” character screaming with joy. Located on Lower Main Road Observatory, with apparel that not only looks good but makes you feel good too. Bright colours, funky patterns, and great materials with a selection for everyone to choose from. All their pieces are quality and haven’t lasted this long without reason. The most spectacular coats, jackets, and shirts seem to be a highlight of theirs so get your winter gear while you still can. With an option to shop online on Instagram or Facebook, it couldn’t be easier to time travel to your wildest retro dream closet.  

8. ‘If Punk Rock Was A Shop’

Bang Bang Vintage Market

You can find this absolute gem of a shop in Observatory, with an incredible variety of vintage, festival, steampunk, rock, and goth fashion it’s every sane person’s dream. The possibilities are endless at Bang Bang Vintage Market, here you can find headpieces, wigs, jewelry, fabulous hats, and jaw-dropping high-heeled boots any Bratz Doll would’ve killed for. Check out their Instagram, a well-run and majorly enticing page that frequently posts in-house videos of what they currently have in stock. Don’t hesitate to get down there, this is a shop you have to check out before the winter season ends to get your hands on that faux fur coat you’ve been wanting for years.

So next time you find yourself with a bit of extra cash lying around and a wardrobe in need of some funky additions, look no further. Cape Town is bursting at the seams with thrifting spots. Grab a friend, your wallet, and a bag – trust me you’re going to want to fill it. And when the new season comes around and your cupboard is starting to look a little too full and you need to free up some space, don’t hesitate to head down to your local charity shop and make a donation. Because as they say in the thrifting world; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

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